How Does Alzheimer’s Disease Affect the Body and the Brain?

June 12th, 2017 No Comments

June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month.

Each year, the Alzheimer’s Association urges Americans to become familiar with the risks and symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia, and to become involved in the effort to raise awareness for this deadly disease, which kills more people than both breast and prostate cancer combined.

How Does Alzheimer’s Disease Affect the Brain?

Although it is often mistakenly attributed to the aging process and memory loss, Alzheimer’s is a degenerative disease that targets healthy brain and nerve tissue, eventually leading to cell death and brain shrinkage over time. As the disease progresses it begins to impact cognitive function, impairing the ability to think and process memories.

How Does Alzheimer’s Disease Affect the Body?

As it neural function declines, it also begins to impair the brain’s ability to regulate motor skills and physical activities. The earlier stages generally affect cognition and memory, but over time the damage spreads to the areas of the brain responsible for walking, balance and coordination, and swallowing. It may appear that a person suffering from advanced stage Alzheimer’s Disease may be choosing not to eat, but it can actually become physically impossible for them to do so as the brain loses the ability to effectively communicate with the body.

Treating Alzheimer’s Disease

While there is currently no cure for or way to reverse the disease, researchers are constantly working on developing new medication and treatment options to help reverse cognitive decline and deterioration. Treatment is focused on a comprehensive approach that may include medication to help regulate the neurotransmitters in the brain responsible for healthy brain function, as well as occupational and physical therapy to help patients and their families manage symptoms as they develop, and to help maintain the patient’s quality of life for as long as possible.

After the Diagnosis – Helping a Loved One with Alzheimer’s Disease

The disease affects everyone differently. For most people, maintaining their personal independence for as long as is safely possible is the ultimate goal. The Alzheimer’s Society recommends a number of memory aid strategies, as well as assistive technology and equipment to help make the home or care environment as accessible and safe as possible.

Personal and Home Assistance Care in New Jersey

For more information on the risk factors, warning signs, and care options for a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease, contact us today by calling 609-883-8188 to learn more about our services in Mercer and Burlington counties.


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